The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

Intermediate Space Challenge a real blast


Pat Doody

Paul Walker's 5th grade class from Tompkins Elementary won the Best Overall trophy at the Intermediate Space Challenge. Their rocket, Milky Way also had the third highest altitude at 470 feet.

It was a beautiful Tehachapi morning on Wednesday, May 24 for the 8th Annual Intermediate Space Challenge. Over 700 4th and 5th graders from the three Tehachapi elementary schools, Carden School and Valley Oaks Charter School arrived by the busload at Tehachapi Airport to shoot off colorful rockets that were made by each of the classes.

The competition is sponsored by The Arts, Science and Technology Educational Corporation of Tehachapi. AST's goal is to spark interest in science, engineering and technology in the young students. Each elementary class has student mentors from Tehachapi High Engineering Manufacturing Academy (THEMA) who help them build their rockets and work on other elements of the competition.

Each class designs and builds a rocket, decides on a team name, writes an essay and a class cheer and designs a banner for their team. This years banners were judged by Mel White of the Treasure Trove and essays were judges by members of the AAUW.

Patrick Donahue

Colorful rockets wait to be placed on the launch pad.

Following the National Anthem sung by Bryn Turpin of Valley Oaks Charter School, Nick Altieri and Marie Walker announced the launches alternating the 4th and 5th grade classes. The light winds allowed several rockets to reach record heights. The highest student launch of the day went to Golden Hills (Rene) Jacobi's Jagwires with an alltime record of 519 feet. The THEMA students launched a rocket in honor of competition founder Joel Beckman who passed away last year. His wife Barbara was there to watch that rocket reach an altitude of 838 feet.

The Best Overall trophy and Best 5th Grade went to (Paul) Walker's Milky Way from Tompkins Elementary School. Best 4th Grade went to Jason Grimes Rocketeers also from Tompkins. Other awards were as follows:

Best Banner- 4th grade, Rocketeers (Tompkins), 5th grade Night Stars (Golden Hills)

Best Rocket Design- 4th Asteroid Crusaders (Carden), 5th Infinity and Beyonders (Golden Hills)

Best Essay- 4th Amazing Astros (Tompkins), 5th Pathfinders (Tompkins)

Best Spirit- 4th Excelerators (Cummings Valley), 5th Pathfinders (Tompkins)

Best Launch- 4th Jacobi's Jagwires 519 ft. (Golden Hills), 5th Walker's Milky Way 470 ft. (Tompkins)


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